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Why is 'Lord of the Flies' banned (or challenged)?

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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Penguin Group

Question:

Why is Lord of the Flies so controversial? Was it banned? Challenged? Why would the book be removed from circulation?

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Answer:

Lord of the Flies is one of the novels for which William Golding is best remembered (it was a bestseller, and it's a popular book for young-adult reading). The book is also among the most frequently banned and challenged books, according to the American Library Association. The reasons for the challenges are well-known (and often used to ban other books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye: inappropriate/vulgar language and behavior by young boy--including violent tendencies in Lord of the Flies.

Here are a few locations where Lord of the Flies was challenged:
  • Dallas, TX Independent School District (1974)
  • Sully Buttes, SD High School (1981)
  • Owen, NC High School (1981) "demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal."
  • Marana, AZ High School (1983) "inappropriate reading assignment"
  • Olney, TX Independent School District (1984) "excessive violence and bad language."
  • Toronto, Canada Board of Education (1988) "racist"
  • Waterloo, IA schools (1992) "profanity, lurid passages about sex, and statements defamatory to minorities, God, women and the disabled"
  • Bloomfield, NY (2000)
Study Guide

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